Posts Tagged ‘The Surfing Magazines’

The Wave Pictures

After last year’s brittle, buoyant, jagged and jilted turn as The Surfing Magazines I was eager to see how Dave Tattersall and Franic Rozycki returned to their home in The Wave Pictures. While their latest is a far cry from the precision take on art-surf that tumbled out of the speakers last year, Brushes With Happiness is no less intriguing. Recorded as a one-night stand with only some lyrics in hand, the band entered the studio, stripped back the walls of inhibition chemically and laid down the album as an improv to tape. The result is a minor key comedown that’s batting the bare bulb around the room and slowly curling into the embrace of depression-laced garage blues.

The band nails the codeine cool of late night diviners that came before them, finding a detached swagger in the menacing single, “Jim” or the slinking follower “Laces.” The album’s off the cuff nature gives it a distinct and consistent mood, vibing off the room and practically sweating sour sneers and old smoke at every turn. The songs don’t get overly samey, but they’re clearly part of something bigger than themselves. It’s an album’s album, a suite that’s imbued with the nighttime, infused with solitary penance and grappling with demons itching just below the surface.

While the band are admittedly reaching for their Tonight’s The Night Moment, they aren’t quite clamping down that degree of indispensable output, but that’s not to say this isn’t a shining moment in The Wave Pictures’ catalog. Brushes With Happiness is an abrupt heel turn on the majority of their UK contemporaries – loose, unfussed with hooks, and crackling with an energy that’s not built for the machinations of radio placement. Instead the band have followed their own muse down the crumbling k-hole and come out the other side with a delightfully cohesive and dour record that’s a perfect drinking buddy. They embrace the ache and put it back out into the world for one more revolution.



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The Wave Pictures – “Jim”

One of last years most undeservedly glossed over releases had to be the eponymous debut from The Surfing Magazines. It was a step back into indie’s heyday, throwing a touch of surf’s veneer into a stretched and snapped web of toughened hooks that proved guitar rock still had some legs in 2018. The backbone of The Surfing Mags was the trio normally filed under The Wave Pictures, they just pop in ringer Charles Watson from The Slow Club to make the transition. Now back to their old tricks, The Wave Pictures have two new albums on the way for 2018 and first up is Brushes With Happiness, an off-the-cuff recording that the band did in one day. The second offering promises a bigger pop picture but “Jim,” the first cut from Brushes speaks to the marked difference between the two albums. This is a pure product of the band’s blues séance held one January night.

The track is sparse, but still glowing with the guitar tones of Dave Tattersall, who seems to have a strange wrangle on the lizard writhe of rock. The track slinks in and huffs the firelight out of the room, feeling full of detached cool, – the kind of track that would underpin a killer’s saunter into a nest of unfortunate victims in a film with any taste. It’s all preamble here, though, and part of me wants it to explode at the end into a shambolic arc of metallic shred but somehow that’s not what I feel is at foot on this record. I’ll be eager to see if it’s all held breath and hushed menace like “Jim.”




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RSTB Best of 2017

So this year is drawing to a close, or almost, we’re still a few weeks away from pushing the broken pieces of 2017 into the trash. There’s no real solace from a lot of the events that took place this year, but, independent of any current events, music has been kind to us all this year. These are the records that spent the most time on the turntable over here. Yeah, I know its kind of a lot, but there were far too many good ones that haven’t been getting the shouts they need elsewhere. Lets say this serves as both a best of and a most overlooked in one go. If you enjoy ’em, buy ’em if you can. Don’t do them the disservice of just bumping up the streaming numbers.

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